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Friday, March 24, 2023

Field Trial

Irish SetterIf you have a gundog you have the option of training your dog for retrieving and/or field work. Training your new friend for retrieving and/or field work brings out the natural traits which have been bred into your gundog for many generations.

As a bonus you will find the joy that you and your dog can achieve from understanding each other and bringing out your dog's natural traits.

Field trials are competitions using registered purebred gundogs where dogs and handlers are tested for obedience and natural hunting ability under normal hunting conditions. There are three forms of field trials for the various types of hunting dogs. There are field trials for the pointing and setting breeds, field trials for utility gundogs and field trials for spaniels and retrievers. In each of the disciplines a judge compares the work of two dogs at a time (a brace) and a dog is either eliminated or promoted to the next round depending on its standard of work.

Field trials are conducted at three different levels or standards, these being Novice Stake, Open or All Age Stake and Championship Stake. The type of work required at each level is identical although the standard of competition at the higher levels is obviously better.

Spaniel and Retriever Field Trials

These trials are conducted in the cooler months of August and September and are usually conducted on rabbits. Dogs are required to hunt, flush and retrieve.

Pointer and Setter Field Trials

The dogs are assessed on their ability to find and point in particular. These events are open to the pointer and setter breeds only. The dogs may be required to either retrieve or seek dead any shot game. These events are usually conducted on quail.

Utility Gundog Field Trials

These events are for breeds which are designed to hunt, point and retrieve, which include the German Shorthaired Pointer, Brittany, Weimaraner and Large Munsterlander. They are conducted on quail or other game birds like pheasant.

For further information on field trials contact a field trialing club.

Where and how do I learn to train my dog for field trials?

Many of the group three breed clubs and the specialist training and trialling clubs advertising in the Dogs Victoria magazine run training days from time to time. These clubs often have their own website and facebook page. Also RAFT Committee has a facebook page which advises of events including training days.

There are many good books, videos and internet downloads to guide you in your field trial training, but nothing beats having an experience ‘buddy’.

If you would like to attend a trial, ring one of the clubs to find out when the next trial is on and come and have a look. Speak to the triallers and find out if any train in your area or attend one of the next training sessions conducted by the clubs conducting field trials.

To view the field trial rules please click here.

Extreme Weather Policy - Field Trials

Click here to read the Dogs Victoria Extreme Weather Policy for Field Trials.

Retrieving & Field Extreme Weather

Click here to read the Extreme Weather for Retrieving & Field Trials.